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Der Samuel's Sermon From October 29th, 2023

Today, only the Armenian Churches worldwide celebrate the discovery of the Holy Cross, the crowning of the celebrations of the Holy Cross feasts, within the cycle of an entire calendar year. This momentous occasion is a testament to God's providence, His divine plan, and the enduring power of faith. Let us explore this remarkable story and draw lessons that can guide us on our spiritual journey.

To understand the significance of the discovery of the Holy Cross, we must first delve into the historical backdrop of this miraculous event. In the early 4th century, the Roman Empire was undergoing a significant transformation under the rule of Emperor Constantine the Great. It was during this time that Christianity, once persecuted, started to flourish. Constantine himself embraced Christianity and sought to strengthen the faith. His mother, Saint Helena, played a crucial role in the story we commemorate today.

Queen Helena, mother of Byzantine Emperor Constantine and a devout Christian, wanted to visit the Holy Land and explore the sites Christ had walked centuries ago. She went to Golgotha (Calvary), which had become an obscure and neglected place. According to some chronicles, it was an informed Jew named Juda who pointed out the location. At her instruction, workers excavated the site, and three wooden crosses were found. Which one was the True Cross? Just then, a funeral procession was passing by. The procession was stopped, and the corpse of the deceased was placed upon the first cross. Nothing happened. The corpse was then placed upon the second cross. Again, nothing happened. Finally, the corpse was placed upon the third cross, which happened to be the True Cross. Immediately, the deceased came back to life, having touched the very wood upon which Jesus had been crucified.

As we celebrate and remember this feast, there are some lessons that we can take from it.

We have heard what happened to the deceased person after they placed the corpse on the true Cross. This reminds us about life. Sometimes tired from daily news, depression, and all kinds of sad news, we try to find our comfort in so many places and so many ways. The Feast of the Discovery of the Holy Cross is beyond simple storytelling; it is a lesson of unwavering faith. It shows us the power of the Holy Cross can make miracles to those who believe in its power.

Saint Helena had strong faith, and because of her faith, she took the chance to go to the Holy Land. We must also persevere in our faith journey, even in the face of challenges and uncertainties. God's plan will reveal itself to us in His time. Her journey was marked by constant prayer and unwavering trust in God's guidance. We should take this as an example to deepen our prayer life and seek God's will in our daily lives.

It is true that we don’t worship the Cross but the crucified Jesus. Yet we see what can make the cross who wholeheartedly seek and rely on its power. The Cross is a symbol of Christ's redemptive sacrifice. It reminds us of the forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternal life through faith in Him. The cross gives us comfort. Imagine you went to other countries, you have no one, no relatives, no friends, you are alone, and somehow you are lost. At that time, as a human being, you will start to look for a place to go or someone to ask for guidance. Suddenly, you see a church on the top of the church, the sign of the Cross; I believe that you feel comfortable because you believe that you are somehow in a safe place.

The discovery of the Holy Cross is a remarkable event in Christian history, one that resonates with the enduring power of faith and God's divine plan. As we commemorate this moment, may we be inspired by Saint Helena's unwavering dedication and the eternal message of the Cross. Let us carry its lessons forward in our lives, strengthening our faith and spreading the message of love, hope, and redemption to all those we encounter. Amen.

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